Oulanka is a superb hiking destination. The popular Karhunkierros Hiking Trail leads through the National Park. Hikers can get a general picture of the park’s nature and see the national landscape even on day-trips lasting a few hours.
Oulanka National Park is located in the Municipalities Kuusamo and Salla in north-eastern Finland in an upland region. The park ends at the national border. Behind the border in Russia is Paanajärvi National Park (parks.karelia.ru), which was established in 1992. Oulanka is a unique and versatile combination of northern, southern and eastern nature. The landscape is made up of pine forests, river valleys with sandy banks and rapids, and in the north of vast mires. The area is rich in animal and plant species, even endangered ones.
Oulanka National park has been part of the European PAN Parks network (www.panparks.org) since 2002, and in 2012 the Oulanka and Paanajärvi National Parks were granted a joint PAN Parks certificate. The certificate is awarded to extensive wilderness-like protected areas that successfully combine nature conservation and sustainable nature tourism.
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